Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 14, 1903.djvu/99

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Collectanea. 83

On the same day cakes and boiled wheat were distributed among all the relations, and the hair was cut off the tails of every horse at the stables belonging to the deceased. The funeral procession was always composed of the relations in mourning, preceded by some boys playing the fifes or trumpets. Before the corpse was interred a pillow filled with orange and laurel leaves was placed under the head, and a carpet spread over the tomb, which was suffered to remain some days to show that during that time it was forbidden to walk over it. No fire was lighted for three days in the kitchen of the deceased, and either one of the relations or an intimate friend sent a dinner to the inhabitants of the house, which they ate cross-legged on the floor. Women on this occasion re- mained forty days in the house, but men went out on the seventh day with their faces unshaven.

St. Paul's Tongue. — It was a popular belief among our ancestors that the teeth of fish which we find embedded in some of the rocks are St. Paul's tongue, which during his sermons penetrated even the solid rock. These fossils were pounded and the powder was held to possess a miraculous power in healing wounds. Until recently it has been known that some of our country folks used to carry one of these teeth about with them, sometimes mounted in silver and hung about their necks as an amulet against the bites of venomous serpents.

Gangan. — Many women and children believe that those who are born on Christmas Eve, just at the very time when our Lord was born, will continue until their death to be transformed to a ghost while asleep, every year just on Christmas Eve. They then go out and wander all over the island frightening people with their groanings .... and awake in the morning quite un- conscious of their nocturnal expedition. Others .... add .... that a person may get rid of this annual transformation by taking a sieve and spending from eleven o'clock at night until Christmas morning at dawn counting the holes.

Evil Eye. — Various charms are practised for counteracting this cruel species of witchcraft .... One who has been influenced by the evil eye of another must procure a piece of cloth from the dress of the person by whom he has been fascinated, burn it, and expose himself to the smoke of it. Some of the chief consist in spitting, or making a big cross with the thumb on the belly, whilst saying the words " Tohrog il ghageb," or sticking some brown wax from

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